Biometrics, the science of tracking and analyzing people’s unique biological characteristics, has intriguing possibilities for marketers. While these technologies are currently used mostly in law enforcement and security, they also can help marketers identify customers and deliver personalized messaging. This presents a potential boon for business, but also has serious privacy implications.
What are the main types of biometrics?
Biometric identification methods fall into two categories: physiological and behavioral. Top physiological methods include fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, iris recognition, retinal scanning and hand geometry. Behavioral methods include voice and handwriting recognition, device interaction analysis, eye tracking, neuromarketing and emotion detection. Each of these techniques has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Biometric identification has been around for years. Why should marketers care now?
Biometric identification has long been used by law enforcement. However, Apple’s 2013 inclusion of a fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5S brought the technology to the consumer mass market, and other electronics manufacturers have subsequently incorporated the technology. Data collected from these devices will be a potential gold mine for brands that figure out how to use it in acceptable ways.
How do consumers feel about biometrics?
Many see biometric identification as easier and more convenient than passwords or PINs but are increasingly concerned about digital privacy and security. They’re much more comfortable with biometrics systems that use personal information to keep them safe than they are with those that collect data for marketing.
What needs to happen to make biometrics viable for marketers?
Not only must appropriate regulation, guidelines and standards be put in place, organizations must convince consumers that they will protect and respect their data and use it responsibly and ethically.
WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report examines how biometric technology is used today and discusses opportunities and challenges for marketers hoping to use it in the future.
KEY STAT: In 2020, 64% of smartphones worldwide will ship with facial recognition technology, up from just 23% last year, according to Counterpoint Technology Market Research.
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